Leo dazzles in Gucci and non-Apple watch. Inset, the Apple Ultra, which costs one thousand dollars. | Photo: Alexander Bortz for High Snobiety

Surf world in shock as House of Gucci pin-up and Italian surf Olympian Leo Fioravanti slams World Surf League’s much vaunted collaboration with Apple live on air, “I just wanna say our fricken watches weren’t working and that’s pretty heavy!”

"I hope they figure it out!"

Only yesterday, the rumour mill fizzed with news that Olympic gold medallist and multiple world champ Carissa Moore had refused to shackle herself with an Apple watch as per the WSL’s latest collab and that she was “not in any way aligned with the Apple corporation”.

Early signs re: the WSL’s decision to adopt the Apple Watch Series 8 and Ultra “as official equipment to keep surfers up to date during competitions” were positive, however.

Even here. 

“Aside from the surfers knowing how much time is left in their heats, what the score is etc., I’d imagine that real time data will be gathered from them,” wrote Chas Smith. “How much distance they have paddled, how fast they move when up and riding, the force exerted when Filipe Toledo punches his board after failing to catch a wave at pumping Teahupo’o and won’t that information be fun for us at home?”

Now, the Roman surfer and face of Gucci Leonardo Fioravanti , who survived a sudden-death elimination heat to move into the round of 32, has slammed the partnership on the WSL’s own livestream. 

As his post-heat interviews wrapped he quickly added,

“And, I just want to say our fricken watches weren’t working and that’s pretty heavy, like my watch wasn’t working. Nothing to take away from Apple or the WSL, what they’re doing is great, they’re trying to bring in some technology to our world, but if my watch doesn’t work from start to finish and I gotta ask for time. I’ve been used to having the time on me at all times in heats, we’re fighting for our careers. So, I hope they  figure it out ‘cause my watch didn’t work from start to finish. And that’s pretty heavy.” 

(Our pals at Stab magazine were quick on the trigger and got the vid. Watch here!)

Shawn Rhodes, a Titan of Mavericks, and his brown Labrador, Yoda.

Big-wave surf star famous for his wild Mavericks sessions sues State following allegations he was tasered in the guts by rangers for having an unleashed dog, “He quickly fell to the ground due to the electrical charge sent through his body!”

Getting tasered creates the sensation of having your brain shaken "like a peanut in a jar" and with "bees crawling through your skin."

Mavs surfers know all about Shawn Rhodes, a Titan of the joint who was there in 1994 when legendary big-waver Mark Foo rode his last wave.

(“I never had any doubts the place would eventually take someone’s life,” Rhodes told the NY Times. “I’ll keep surfing it, though. Am I scared? Yeah. Every time I go out there, it’s always on my mind.)

Rhodes owns the Nor Cal Surf Shop in Pacifica and over the course of fifteen years he competed in eight versions of the epic Quicksilver “Men Who Ride Mountains” event. 

So, yeah, he has cache around Santa Cruz.

Now, Rhodes, who is fifty-five, is suing the California Department of Parks and Recreation for, he says, its rangers using excessive force and violating his civil rights over an incident in 2020.

Rhodes says two park rangers, Jamie Stamps and Cameron Weaver,“tackled” him to the ground, used “jiujitsu holds” and tasered him “multiple times”, all over his off-leash dog Yoda at Four Mile Beach in Wilder Ranch State Park there.

In Rhodes’ complaint, filed on January 23, he says he was approached by the rangers after a surf and asked why his dog wasn’t leashed. He told ‘em he’d throw the leash from his board on his animal when he got to the top of a hill and could put down his board whereupon he says he was tackled and tasered in the guts.

Rhodes says he tried to pull the Taser’s prong out, “but he quickly fell to the ground due to the electrical charge the Taser sent through his body.”.

Getting tasered has been described as like having your brain shaken “like a peanut in a jar” and with “bees crawling through your skin.”

A little later, while he was getting cuffed, Rhodes says his arm was hyper-extended behind his back.

He was then put in the back of the ranger’s car, ironically without a seatbelt, causing him to “fly across the vehicle’s back seat” as

(The charge of resisting arrest was dismissed last August.)

Surf-wise, it ain’t been easy for Rhodes following the incident. 

She shredded my shoulder,” Rhodes told McClatchy News, adding doctors told him the joint is 65 percent torn. “That’s been a painful situation for surfing… I can’t jump up fast, which means I can’t do what I’ve spent my whole life doing… It’s a horrible vibe…It’s stripped my ability to do what I love doing.”

Rhodes is seeking damages for lost wages and medical costs but also to maybe get anyone with a badge to tone down the physicality of their interactions with the public, particularly over something minor like a dog without its leash, although it ain’t the first time.

In 2014, a man was awarded $50,000 after he was tasered when he was caught jogging alongside his unleashed hound.

“I feel like I have to do something and stand up for people’s rights at some point,” says Rhodes.

Hawaiian surf prodigy almost killed at Pipeline hints he may never return to famous reef, “Is Pipeline worth it, idk. Will I ever paddle back out there, I have no idea”

"I no longer have any goals when it comes to surfing my only goal is to get my mind and health back to 100%…"

For the past two weeks, the Pipe local Kala Grace has been recovering in Queens Hospital, Honolulu, following a dramatic near-death collision with the infamous Pipeline reef during the Backdoor Shootout. 

Grace, who is twenty-four, had his helmet ripped off after a closeout barrel and while caught inside was pile-driven into the coral bottom where he was knocked unconscious. 

In a dramatic rescue, a lifeguard abandoned his jetski to pull the kid out of the water.

CPR was performed on the beach.

“He was kind of purple when they brought him in,” his daddy, the Waikiki Beach Boy Willie Grace said. 

Shortly after, the North Shore lifeguard Chris Owens, who nearly exited this mortal coil when he was kneecapped by an adult learner at Waimea Bay, posted an update on Grace’s condition on Instagram.

“Many of you already heard he was a victim of one of the most severe surfing accidents of all time while surfing in the Backdoor Shootout yesterday. I just got off the phone with my life long best friend Fielding Benson who is Kala’s Stepfather and was told from him, Kala has regained consciousness, but he couldn’t speak yet, I think because of the breathing tube in his lungs, but Fielding said he asked for a pen and the first thing he wrote to him and his Mom Maryanne was: Did I win?”

Now, in a series of online posts Grace has hinted he may not return to the wave he’d made his own over the course of the last half-a-dizen seasons. 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Kala Grace (@kala___grace)


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Kala Grace (@kala___grace)

“There was once a time where I lived and breathed pipeline. Everything I did revolved around it wether it was the way I ate, trained, or slept and everything in between.

“I promise I will be back one day but after my wipeout everything changed for me I no longer have any goals when it comes to surfing my only goal is to get my mind and health back to 100% before I can even think about that stuff…


“Is Pipeline worth it, idk. Will I ever paddle back out there, I have no idea.”

Open Thread: Comment Live, Day One of the Billabong Pro Pipeline where unauthorized cinnamon is officially on the table!

It's go time!

Gilmore (pictured) giving hell. Photo: WSL
Gilmore (pictured) giving hell. Photo: WSL

After six months of reflection, surf champion Stephanie Gilmore admits WSL Final’s Day format is a stupid idea birthed by imbeciles: “Surfing is about being able to compete in all different kinds of waves and being successful all through the year!”

Giving hell.

Yesterday we, each of us, reacquainted ourselves with the wonderful Carissa Moore who, we learned, is taking a bold stand against the World Surf League’s corporate bootlicking as the 2023 Championship Tour gets underway by refusing their data-sucking Apple Watch. Moore, who was sitting on a dominant points lead last year, you recall, was forced to travel to Lower Trestles and watch it all disappear as a raging Stephanie Gilmore gobbled up the trophy. I was standing there at the time, on those cobbled stones, and it felt deeply unfair. Oh, nothing at all against Gilmore. The stylish Australian surfs as graciously as she lives but the whole new “final’s day” format, birthed in order to make professional surfing “exciting,” I suppose, seemed entirely ill-conceived when masterful performances at waves like J-Bay and Teahupo’o are erased by a crummy one at Lowers.

Gilmore, who clawed from fifth to first that day, seemed elated in the aftermath but her tone is remarkably different after six months of reflection. Sitting down with Australia’s ABC Sport she admitted to feeling guilt about the way she won and declared, “I’d only ever won titles in the other fashion where you accumulate points through the season and the winner at the end is who has the most points. In this fashion you just try and make the top five and on the very final day the world’s best battle it out and that moment crowns a world champion. You could have a bad day and Carissa just wasn’t on that day. A big part of me still thinks the world champion should be crowned over all the different conditions, surfing is about being able to compete in all different kinds of waves and being successful all through the year.”

The winningest female surfer in history went on to describe how she likes slams in tennis etc. with the high stakes but professional surfing isn’t a slam, is it. It is a tour.

If Moore is in the same position again this year, after Teahupo’o, she should refuse to go to San Clemente, as a bold and smart commenter penned yesterday, and claim herself de-facto world champion.

Dumb final’s day.